Travelling from Chippenham to London Paddington as a Wheelchair User? Here’s How I Did It (Again)

Here’s my review of my trip from Chippenham to London Paddington for London Graduate Fair 2019!

Outbound

Ticket Buying & Getting On at Chippenham

Tickets for both the outbound and the return trip were booked via Trainline with assistance booked separately over the phone. I then made myself known to staff at Chippenham at least 20 minutes before the train departure (official advice was 20 minutes but I’m always ahead of schedule). From there it was simply a case of waiting in the waiting room until my train arrived and then being put on the train using the ramp I’d prebooked. I was in First Class as that was where the wheelchair space I had been allocated was.

On Train

On the train, there was nothing much to report, other than a significant delay caused by signalling issues. This was, of course, no one’s fault but I thought it might cause a problem with getting prompt assistance off the train. Oh, and FREE COFFEE (did I mention I’m possibly slightly addicted to coffee?).

Disembarking & Leaving at London Paddington

When it came time to disembark the train, the train staff stayed with me until assistance staff arrived with the ramp (mere minutes later) . Staff then blocked either side of the ramp to try  and ensure that I did not have to knock over the other passengers who were exiting the train and walking past the end of the ramp.

Return

Getting On at London Paddington

I arrived 30 minutes before the train back to Chippenham as instructed. However, between arriving at the station and checking my phone on the train was a maximum of 10 minutes. It will always baffle me why I’m told to arrive 30 minutes beforehand when there’s proof (like this trip) that it can be done much quicker. I’d have been able to spend more time meeting my friend if I hadn’t had to be at the train station 30 minutes early!

On Train

Once again, on the train there was nothing much to report other than MORE free coffee (may I mention again I’m possibly slightly addicted to coffee?).

Disembarking & Leaving at Chippenham

On arrival at Chippenham, the train staff were aware of where I’d be disembarking the train. The train manager couldn’t see assistance staff as the train pulled into the station so they themselves got me off the train using the ramp stored in the train.

Hope you enjoyed this review of my stress free trip to London Paddington and back!

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

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